80% of prepackaged food contains sugar, which makes it difficult to avoid this substance. Sugar has been used for centuries as a basic ingredient in food like cakes, sweets and biscuits. But in modern times, sugar has also been added to other foods to make them tastier and encourage us to buy more of them. In fact, the term “bliss point” is an industry term that refers to the correct levels of sweetness that induce maximum satisfaction in the consumer. This level of sugar is designed to create a certain level of “addiction,” which the producers hope will lead consumers to buy a lot of their product.
When we consume sugar, the pleasure centers in our brain are activated, which makes us feel good. A chemical element called dopamine is released, thanks to which we feel a sense of pleasure. And so we continue to take in sugars, often unknowingly through foods which we do not think will have them.
If you're trying to eliminate sugar, make sure you do not sabotage your mission with foods that contain hidden sugar. Today, we’ll have a look at some of these foods.
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1. Sauces and condiments
Ready-made sauces, ketchup, barbecue sauces, salad dressings and other seasonings contain lots of sugars. Certainly concerning when you consider that we use these on lots of our foods!
2. Preserved vegetables
When I tried to avoid sugar for a month, I discovered with great surprise that there were large amounts of sugar in canned peas, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables. Sugar is added not only to add flavor in this instance, but for its properties as a preservative.
3. Dietary foods
Despite their name, “diet foods” are often high in sugar. An example is energy bars. Even diet foods that are low in fat can be deceptive, because sugar is often used instead of fat as a flavor agent.
4. Breakfast cereals
The cereal we eat in the morning, especially the colorful kinds beloved by children, often contain very large amounts of sugar. Many cereals that look healthy actually contain more sugar than a slice of cake. It’s better to not let your blood sugar levels rise early in the morning.
5. Sushi rice
Sushi is often associated with the idea of eating healthily, but it often contains sugar. This is due to the rice used to make many sushi dishes.
Especially white one, but other types as well, contain a lot of sugar. So-called “health bread” are often also rich in sugar. The right dose should be 4g per 100g of bread. Better to go to your local baker or even better, make bread at home.
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7. Dried fruit and smoothies
Fresh fruit contains natural fructose, but dried fruit contains concentrated sugar instead. So, if you give yourself some dried fruit snacks thinking they are healthy, think again! Even smoothies, which today are one of the symbols of a healthy lifestyle, often contain many sugars, especially pre-bottled ones. These smoothies are rich in fructose, and the fibers are pulverized so that they cannot act as a barrier and slow down the absorption of these sugars. Choose smoothies with 2/3 of vegetables and 1/3 of fruit.
Some useful information to check on food labels:
• 1 gram of sugar contains 4 calories
• 4 grams of sugar is 1 teaspoon/lump of sugar
Remember that life is all about balance: it's not about completely eliminating products from your diet but about taking them in moderation. If you are trying to eliminate sugar, leave us a comment.